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April 14, 2023

Can America stop fentanyl trafficking?

Credit: The Economist

Our weekly podcast on democracy in America. This week, in the second of two episodes, we examine how drugs get into the country

AMERICAN AUTHORITIES confiscated a record amount of illegal fentanyl along the southwest border in 2022. But even so, last year will still likely see the highest number of fatal overdoses in America’s 20-year opioid epidemic. In this episode–our second on the opioid epidemic–we trace the supply chain from China to the southern border, via Mexico. Can that supply route be interrupted? And how do America’s relationships with China and Mexico affect the flow of drugs?

San Diego’s mayor, Todd Gloria, describes the effect fentanyl has had on his city. Alan Bersin, former commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, discusses the state of the southern border. Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to America, talks us through Mexico’s role in stopping trafficking. And Representative David Trone explains how the United States’ relationship with China has changed the supply chain.

John Prideaux hosts with Aryn Braun and Idrees Kahloon.

This is the second part of a short series looking at the opioid epidemic in America. This episode considers the supply for the drugs–a few weeks ago we dove into the demand.